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What's so great about really old speakers with 15" woofers and huge horns Studio Monitors
Old 14th September 2007
  #31
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I guess you youngsters think monitors and apparently electricity were invented in the 90s. Hmmm. Funny. I seem to remember recorded music exisiting back at least a few weeks before that. Why not ask what's so great about the wheel?
Old 9th October 2007
  #32
Lives for gear
1890's!

Electricity WAY pre-dates valve amplifiers, but all of the early disk and cylinder acoustical record/playback units used horns.

I just set up a pair of 1976 Yamaha S4115H (c. 1976) as bi-amped club speakers for DJ use. 15" Eminence woofer (cast basket, 10 pound magnet), original Sunn compression driver and horn. Plenty-loud (& suprisingly clear) with a Hafler DH200 (c. 1980, 100WPC) per side. Crossover was a Rane from 1986. Low-budget/high-performance in a smallish room was the objective, with nothing for cosmetics (scuffed black leatherette).

Efficiency in speakers allows lower current draw of medium power amplifiers, sometimes saving ones' butt in venues with crumby power served on orange cords. You get 15A, on a good day.

I adjusted line voltage to 115 with a 15A Variac and plugged the DJ mixer/phono-pre and the crossover into a ferro-resonant voltage regulator/harmonic suppressor (SOLA Type CVS) to provide cleaner power for high-gain stages. The amps and turntables got 115v with whatever EMF/EMI junk was flying around.

For studio use, I'll take Tannoy 15" co-ax in a big box. Large diameter driver with low XMax in a big box is lower distortion than smaller diameter and huge XMax in a smallish box. Gotta have space.

Cheers.
Attached Thumbnails
What's so great about really old speakers with 15" woofers and huge horns-yamaha1.png   What's so great about really old speakers with 15" woofers and huge horns-yamaha3.png   What's so great about really old speakers with 15" woofers and huge horns-yamaha2.jpg  
Old 9th October 2007
  #33
Harmless Wacko
 

What's great about them is...

If you've got them in a proper room that you know, and use every day... they give you a type of reproduction that is utterly impossible to attain WITHOUT them.

Whether or not you can use this to your advantage is something guys are going disagree about.

Whatever. I would hate to work without them. I find my large soffit mounted speakers very useful. Long before the clients hear anything.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 9th October 2007
  #34
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vernier's Avatar
Old JBL and Altec are great ..they sound good ..and you want McIntosh power ..the best way to dig music in the control room.
Old 9th October 2007
  #35
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How about some NEW speakers with giant woofers and huge horns...



Can't say I've heard the Avant Garde Acoustics Trio w/ Basshorns setup, (nor I will likely ever have the expendable cash for such a setup), but it would be fun to have a listen to the setup....love it/hate it/etc.

I know there's a huge community of audiophiles that love low power SET tube amps hooked up with horn speakers and they seem to enjoy it. I know a guy who talked about listening to a system owned by the father of one of his friends that was rigged up with Voice of the Theatre speakers, and he had some glowing and vivid memories of how slammin' the sound was...err, make that SLAMMIN' sound. He figured it was perhaps the ultimate way to listen to good ol' rock N roll.
Old 9th October 2007
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
What's great about them is...

If you've got them in a proper room that you know, and use every day... they give you a type of reproduction that is utterly impossible to attain WITHOUT them.

.......

SM.
Would you care to elaborate? - What speakers? What type of reproduction?

Andy
Old 9th October 2007
  #37
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whats so great about 15"woofers and horns?...the big picture of sound!
listening 1:1

just a typical example ..i used to have a set of Westlake HR1's tom hidly monitors containing 2 X 15" + 1 X 10" gauss + 4" driver upper mid horn + 2" driver high freq horn all equiped by JBL components..first of all u need a BIGASS room to be able to use these, lots of air otherwise u go crazy cause of the soundpressure , thats what i found out when we build our controll room and i didnt realise at the time that is was too small lol 60 square meters , had to chain myselve to the console when driving those ..the idea was to give you a picture so big of what you were doing that u could almost touch the kickdrum or vocals , guitars etc in the air...THAT'S what i call high resolution monitors and listening, they can go very loud yeah, but they arent supposed to be loud in a smaller room, like 60 square meters or so (wich is mine).. a typical room is 16 meters long and 9 whide and 6 meters high filled with trapping and acoustic corrections , thats where those kind of enclosers where designed for, if you dont ur not gonna be able to get to 20 or 30hz 1:1 , the idea that those kind of monitors are way down there in terms of workabillity compared to flawlesly (smaller) computer designed monitors is absurd imo...hearing those "old(er)" big babies in perfect acoustical conditions with your favourite music or while tracking makes you wanna rebuild your controll room i tell ya , goes for modern monitors too..nothing like it..they wanted to listen BIG, hear everything, nowadays the industry thinks we can do the same on small monitors...i think not
Old 9th October 2007
  #38
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I'm really of the mindset that if you want to sound vintage, then mix on vintage monitors and amps. You can get just about everything else by using the right instruments in the first place. Everyone is all about tube mics, tube pres and everything else vintage...but speakers and amps. Why is that? Isn't your monitoring situation arguably the most important...next to the room that is.

For the record, I have a pair of jbl 4410, 4408 and sometimes roll in the old 4311 pair. All powered with Urei/jbl 6360 amps.

later,

m
Old 9th October 2007
  #39
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capstan Cappy View Post
whats so great about 15"woofers and horns?...the big picture of sound!
listening 1:1

just a typical example ..i used to have a set of Westlake HR1's tom hidly monitors containing 2 X 15" + 1 X 10" gauss + 4" driver upper mid horn + 2" driver high freq horn all equiped by JBL components..first of all u need a BIGASS room to be able to use these, lots of air otherwise u go crazy cause of the soundpressure , thats what i found out when we build our controll room the idea was to give you a picture so big of what you were doing that u could almost touch the kickdrum or vocals , guitars etc in the air...THAT'S what i call high resolution monitors and listening, they can go very loud yeah, but they arent supposed to be loud in a small room, like 60 square meters or so.. a typical room is 16 meters long and 9 whide and 6 meters high filled with trapping and acoustic corrections , thats where those kind of enclosers where designed for, if you dont ur not gonna be able to get to 20 or 30hz 1:1 , the idea that those kind of monitors are way down there in terms of workabillity compared to flawlesly (smaller) computer designed monitors is absurd imo...hearing those "old" big babies in perfect acoustical conditions with your favourite music or while tracking makes you wanna rebuild your controll room i tell ya..nothing like it
well said. i used to love mixing on the big 2x15: urei 813's at moderate levels, and check the mix on the ns10's. the idea of doing it the other way around always seemed like unnecessary self-torture to me. every time i'd be in a different room, i would throw up a few favorite records that i really "knew" to get an idea of what was missing or excessive in the soundspace and go from there. i always considered ns10's a fresher-looking (i.e. black and not "brown wood veneer") substitute for auratones, not a substitute for the mains. mixes would translate surprisingly well, even now when i listen on today's genelecs etc.

if i could install a pair of those in my living room, i would!
Old 9th October 2007
  #40
Horn speakers are very efficient.

And they're big enough to hold a significant part of your knickknack collection.


Today's drivers are much improved over the speakers of the past, overall. And, while the designers of the past had to haul out the tape measure and slide rule and still do a fair bit of guesstimation -- today's ducted port designs have greatly benefited from advances in computer modeling, as well.

The ported bass reflex enclosure (some with ducts) was old news when I was a kid in the 60s... at that time the focus was on acoustic suspension speakers, which started becoming practical when the advent of transistor amps meant you could pack a lot more power output in a relatively cool running design.

But advances in production and analysis have shifted the design focus back to the ducted port, where careful tuning can give linear response results that would have been seen as just about supernatural 30 or 40 years ago.

It's not, however, too likely that we'll see a return to full range horn speakers any time soon. Space is increasingly seen to be at a premium -- and there's little surfeit of relatively efficient amplification power these days.
Old 9th October 2007
  #41
Lives for gear
 

It is ironic how far we haven't come from the 1950s.

There is no way that a modern condenser mic fed into a modern direct-radiator speaker can get anywhere near the impulse response spec of a 1950s RCA (big) ribbon into an Altec a7 or Western Electric 15a.

Sure, these days the frequency domain is 'flatter' and bandwidth is 'extended' but basic time-domain has gone backwards by an order of magnitude (or two).

Oops.

Andy

PS, You guys listening on horn-loaded mains, I want to speak to you - PM if interested.
Old 9th October 2007
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6dyslexicelephnt View Post
I've seen some old JBL, Altec Lansing etc. huge old speakers selling for a lot on ebay recently. I'm always surprised by this because they seem so crude in their random cabinets (are these matched to the woofer in any way?) that seem like they were built by individuals who bought a horn and a woofer and a dividing network and haphazardly threw them together.

When I look at my Adam A7s they look like the very precise high tech speakers they are. So when I look at these old speakers, they look the opposite and don't seem like they the necessary care put into matching the components and putting them in a fitting housing. Could someone please explain why the high prices and what are their merits? Is it just a collector/nostalgia thing? Or do they still excell for a certain function?

[Don't worry I'm not one of those techy rice rocket driving oakley sunglasses Halo T1 gen Y etc. type kids. I love old stuff as much as the next guy.]
I'm glad this thead popped up again. I just got some A7s and they are most excellent. They are much more convienient than my JBLs. Are they better? Hell no! Are the JBLs better? Hell no! They are differently similar. Ha! I just hope these Adams last 30 years and the JBLs last another 30.
Old 9th October 2007
  #43
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Here my bigs are JBL 4311s with Adcom gfa 555.

They sound good, kind of charming. The bottom end is a little slow.

I also have Infinity QLS1 speakers from the 70's. They have 10 ribbon tweeters 6 dome mids a lower mid and a 12 inch dual voice coil woofer each. Each one is 5'10 inches tall and weighs 155 pounds. The cabinets are walnut. Each one has a 500 watt amp connected to it.

They shred many many modern speakers for fantastic sound. A sweet spot the size of an area code.

check em.

Infinity Quantum Line Source

I have not heard lots of the latest greatist but it takes a pair of genelec three or four way bigs to do what they do.

They are a different world than the old Ureis. And they annhiliate my 4311s which are on much better amps.

The sound is wonderful with a great soundfield but you cant really tell that it is coming from the speakers. Its just there, perfect and there are also these huge speakers in the room.

blah blah blah love them. Best used purchase ever. 5 bills.
Old 9th October 2007
  #44
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vernier's Avatar
4311's here as well ..not too big, not too small, the sound makes me smile.
Old 9th October 2007
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firby View Post
Here my bigs are JBL 4311s with Adcom gfa 555.

They sound good, kind of charming. The bottom end is a little slow.

I also have Infinity QLS1 speakers from the 70's. They have 10 ribbon tweeters 6 dome mids a lower mid and a 12 inch dual voice coil woofer each. Each one is 5'10 inches tall and weighs 155 pounds. The cabinets are walnut. Each one has a 500 watt amp connected to it.

They shred many many modern speakers for fantastic sound. A sweet spot the size of an area code.

check em.

Infinity Quantum Line Source

I have not heard lots of the latest greatist but it takes a pair of genelec three or four way bigs to do what they do.

They are a different world than the old Ureis. And they annhiliate my 4311s which are on much better amps.

The sound is wonderful with a great soundfield but you cant really tell that it is coming from the speakers. Its just there, perfect and there are also these huge speakers in the room.

blah blah blah love them. Best used purchase ever. 5 bills.
those things are awe inspiring to look at. now i want a pair.

i use a pair of bose 601 mkII's for my "big room fillers" in my studio; they sound stellar and have the same "sound in the room but not coming from the speakers" effect, although they've got a pair of 8" woofers and 4 3" tweeter cones, so perhaps the range isn't as extended (although to be honest, they do cover an impressive amount of frequency spectrum). they look great with the covers off, too: http://img.inkfrog.com/click_enlarge...4&aid=99179662
Old 9th October 2007
  #46
Dan
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If you're needing high spl's at low frequencies, there's just no beating big speakers. I've never been a huge fan of the little speaker/sub set up for music. It works for theater sound, where the sub lows are an effect channel, but I just don't like how music sounds on them as much.

I think there's some confusion going on here between Altec A7s, and ADAM A7s. That's kinda funny.
Old 10th October 2007
  #47
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_simpson View Post
Would you care to elaborate? - What speakers? What type of reproduction?

Andy
Just speaking about soffit mounted far-fields in general.

2000 watts x 60 inches of woofer(s) pushing the low end is a TYPE of reproduction you are never going to get out of any nearfield I've ever heard of.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 10th October 2007
  #48
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet View Post
I'm really of the mindset that if you want to sound vintage, then mix on vintage monitors and amps. You can get just about everything else by using the right instruments in the first place. Everyone is all about tube mics, tube pres and everything else vintage...but speakers and amps. Why is that? Isn't your monitoring situation arguably the most important...next to the room that is.

For the record, I have a pair of jbl 4410, 4408 and sometimes roll in the old 4311 pair. All powered with Urei/jbl 6360 amps.

later,

m
4410's with modiefied phase linear 400 here [as 1 of 3 pairs]
Old 10th October 2007
  #49
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6dyslexicelephnt View Post
I've seen some old JBL, Altec Lansing etc. huge old speakers selling for a lot on ebay recently. I'm always surprised by this because they seem so crude in their random cabinets (are these matched to the woofer in any way?) that seem like they were built by individuals who bought a horn and a woofer and a dividing network and haphazardly threw them together.

When I look at my Adam A7s they look like the very precise high tech speakers they are. So when I look at these old speakers, they look the opposite and don't seem like they the necessary care put into matching the components and putting them in a fitting housing. Could someone please explain why the high prices and what are their merits? Is it just a collector/nostalgia thing? Or do they still excell for a certain function?

[Don't worry I'm not one of those techy rice rocket driving oakley sunglasses Halo T1 gen Y etc. type kids. I love old stuff as much as the next guy.]
You threw a lot of things in your post. In no order and duplicating things said:

Double 15" drivers - many companies still make such speakers. Adam, Dynaudioacoustics, Kino****a, Tannoy are a few of them.

Rough appearance - thwse monitors were made for the pro market, which cared about how they sounded.

Huge horns - when these monitors were designed, horn loaded compression drivers provided the lowest distorion on the high end. Technology has evolved considerably since then. Augsburger, Kino****a, Oceanway, and Westlake are some of the companies making them today. Three of these are horns with (you guessed it) two 15" drivers.

Driven:
Andre
Old 10th October 2007
  #50
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I've used everything from Altec, JBL, UREI. I also worked at Westlake for a number of years and I am intimately familiar with their speaker systems. I still own/use a pair of UREI 813Cs. I can tell you that when you have a great mix and you have it just right there is nothing the current near field type monitors can offer that beats the sound of larger monitors. The sound is truly 3 dimensional.

I also think using larger mains will make you a better engineer. There are nuances of sound that can be heard on large monitor systems that you will never hear on smaller systems. In my case, as soon as I started using larger monitors the quality of my selections for mic placement was much better. I never would have learned that from a pair of NS10s or other smaller systems.
Old 10th October 2007
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgphoto View Post
I've used everything from Altec, JBL, UREI. I also worked at Westlake for a number of years and I am intimately familiar with their speaker systems. I still own/use a pair of UREI 813Cs. I can tell you that when you have a great mix and you have it just right there is nothing the current near field type monitors can offer that beats the sound of larger monitors. The sound is truly 3 dimensional.

I also think using larger mains will make you a better engineer. There are nuances of sound that can be heard on large monitor systems that you will never hear on smaller systems. In my case, as soon as I started using larger monitors the quality of my selections for mic placement was much better. I never would have learned that from a pair of NS10s or other smaller systems.
totally agree! , but its more difficult to mix on large monitors imo, it takes practice and patience..u get the WOW! feeling very easily and you tend to forget to mix heh
Old 15th October 2007
  #52
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combination of high SPL and low distortion

slipperman mentioned one of the not-secret (but not obvious) ingredients to excellent full-range monitoring: Designed into the wall flush, increasing the front baffle area to equal the front wall. Sharpness is greatly increased by having no edge re-radiation (from box corners) to fog the signal. LF SPL is increased by radiating into half-space (thus, EQ can shelf down for flat response, reducing amplifier load, reducing distortion). Placement in the wall must be coordinated with gear location and room size/shape/treatment, because moving the cabinet for different effects is not possible with a built-in.

Amazon.com: Loudspeakers: For music recording and reproduction: Books: PHILIP NEWELL,Keith Holland

Many (most?) of these speaker installations are custom built. Not found at Banjo Mart. They aren't cheap, but how else are you going to get this kind of end-performance? If you plan on finishing or winning the race, you don't bring a 16 year old Ford Tempo leaking coolant.

Cheers.

R13
Old 15th October 2007
  #53
In wall large speakers were the norm in the 70's in high end studios. I worked in many of them. Some had coupling problems as the reaction to the mounting and acoustics in general were not well understood then. When the Tef and other systems were made we finally could measure what our ears were telling us, something was amiss, mostly in the time domain.

Even before the errors could be measured and understood, the RE's took matters into their own hands and created the near field monitor explosion which slowly replaced the Auratones.

By the mid eighties, most were mixing on the nearfields with just an occasional low end check on the biggie monitors. The biggies were used to impress new clients or visitors. I did like using them to track loud guitars with feedback in the control room, that was fun.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 7th April 2008
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
bingo. I think the more efficient a speaker is, the more it can tell you about the details.
Bingo indeed.

Andy
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